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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • What exactly about that statement makes him an idiot?
    • Apologies. I quoted a section which spelled it out to me, because I listed to the radio show. I need to be more aware of trying to make a point that makes sense. Here is the quote that makes him an idiot. DOBSON: You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet tha
      • I recently wrote this in e-mail to a friend who brought this up in reference to an OpinionJournal article [opinionjournal.com]. I wrote:

        The analogy between embryonic stem cell research and Nazi experiments is perfectly apt. The author is incorrect.

        Now, he is right to note that there are significant differences: first, in the effects, and second, in the motives. But the bottom line is that both treat human life as a commodity, to be violently altered or destroyed for the benefit of others.

        As to the effects, it must be noted t

        • by q (6122) on 2005.08.18 0:52 (#42715) Journal
          The analogy between embryonic stem cell research and Nazi experiments is perfectly apt. The author is incorrect.
          Now, he is right to note that there are significant differences: first, in the effects, and second, in the motives. But the bottom line is that both treat human life as a commodity, to be violently altered or destroyed for the benefit of others.

          I think that really depends on when you beileve human life starts. What does human life mean? Are stem cells human life?

          If stems cells are human life, then it's an apt comparison in that respect. Both are using human life as a commodity. But if instead we look at stem cells (completely disregard of pain or motives) as something entirely seperate from human life, then it's not a fair comparison.

          Furthermore, If an embryo were to be disgarded. Is using that discarded embryo for a purpose in which it would have served no other, a good thing?

          I contend that stem cells can be taken without a loss of life. If you use something to which there was no purpose previously, that would otherwise waste away for the benefit of others, where is the harm? And does that make it a loss of life?

          As to the effects, it must be noted that the reason we most opposed the Nazi experiments is not because of the pain felt or the grief caused. The same effects result from many of the other things the Nazis did, and yet we find the experiments to be especially inhumane, because they devalued life to such an extraordinary extent.

          I cannot say why we opposed the Nazi experiments so greatly. My own opposition of it from my detached view looking back on the past is that the pain felt, and the grief caused were the serious crimes. They devalued human life in many respects, and I think all of them are equal. It may seem more brutal to compare ourselves to animals, but I think that in all cases the devalueing of human life is equal. It was a terrible time, and there were many facets of the pain that was caused. I don't seperate those in a meaningful way, aside from the pain and grief.

          As to intent, he brings up Iraq: the difference is that America did not intend to kill innocent Iraqis when it attacked. America knew some Iraqis would die, but that was not the intent of the action. On the other hand, destroying embryos is precisely the intent of those who favor today's embryonic stem cell research (except for those who, like Bush, would limit it to those that have already been destroyed).

          How can we ignore the intent in using stem cells and yet focus on the intent of America killing Iraqis? As to the matter of what Bush is in favor of, unless he has had an update to his opinions, what I know of him is this. No further stem cells may be extricated from embryos, even those being discarded by fertility clinics. That is not the same thing that you said. I have looked for references to a change in Bush's position and have not found them. I support that statement alone, I do not support killing embyros. Bill Frist's position echos mine linky goodness. [msn.com]

          He is also right, unfortunately for Dobson, to say that to make this analogy -- regardless of its aptness -- is really bad P.R. It just is. It could be the most accurate statement ever, but it will inevitably cause more harm than good for your side of the issue. There are far better ways to argue the issue, that both express the tragedy of the actions, and don't invoke the Nazi boogeyman that turn so many people off to what you are saying.

          I agree with this

          Dobson was not saying, as best I can tell, that people who are in favor of this research are as bad as Nazis, or that it will lead to Nazism. He was saying that in the targeted and specific way we found the Nazi research offensive, he finds embryonic stem cell research similarly offensive. And I do, too.

          And I do not. When the embryo is exposed of anyway, I find it idiotic to not develop more stem cells from it if given consent. Just as I would feel it were idiotic to not use donated organs if given consent. My feelings on the matter mirror Bill Frist's opinions, which is a very rare case indeed. Rereading his comments though, I do find I agree with him more than I thought I did. I may have been too caught up in the imagery of the statement to really digest it. Rereading it, I'm not even sure he made a comparison, as much as a statement regarding what happens if you remove ethics and morality. You get Nazi Germany. Even if you were to kill new embryos I do not beileve you would get Nazi Germany. It would be a decision that would have to be questioned quite dearly, and considered, but I do not find using that statement in this case to be justified.

          It's an interesting discussion, and I really need to think before I speak.

          • If stems cells are human life, then it's an apt comparison in that respect.

            And without getting into why, yes, that is the belief. So within that belief -- which I took as a given, given the speaker -- it is an apt comparison. Obviously, many people don't share that belief, though many people do.

            I contend that stem cells can be taken without a loss of life. If you use something to which there was no purpose previously, that would otherwise waste away for the benefit of others, where is the harm? And does t
            • A few years ago Bush became the first President to approve federal spending on embryonic stem cell research. His policy was, and remains, that only existing embryonic stem cell lines (taken from embryos that have already been destroyed, which is what I referenced) are eligible for funding

              I misunderstood that as meaning ones that were already destroyed, i.e. as long as the embryo was not going to be used, and was already destroyed in that respect, it would be okay to use.